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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need a Schengen visa?

You may click here to check if you need a visa.

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What is the difference between a Schengen visa and a national visa?

A Schengen visa (Type C) is a visa issued by a Schengen Area member country for transit or stay in part of or all Schengen space. It is not to exceed 90 days over any period of 180 consecutive days. The visa inserted in the relevant travel document bears the name of the territories in which the holder is entitled to stay.

A Member State may request that the other Member States consult it upon receipt of visa applications from nationals of certain third countries or from certain categories of said nationals. The list of the relevant nationalities or categories of nationals is available here: Third countries whose nationals or certain categories of nationals are subject to prior consultation (in French). The visa may be valid for one or more entries.

Professional reasons for a stay in a Schengen country outweigh its jurisdiction on the grounds against tourism, family or private visit in another state.

A national long stay visa (Type D) is only valid for an establishment or a stay of more than 90 days in the country which issued the visa. The national visa allows, however, transit through other Schengen countries and for some (long stay French citizen’s spouse, workers, students or visitors), it also allows traveling freely throughout the Schengen area.

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Is a visa always required to enter the Schengen Area?

Not all foreign nationals are required to hold a visa to enter the Schengen Area. A visa waiver can be granted on a variety of conditions:

  • The applicant’s nationality;
  • Where the applicant holds a valid stay permit for the Schengen Area;
  • Where the applicant holds a long- stay permit;
  • The foreign national's specific status;

Foreign nationals not required to hold a visa to enter the Schengen Area by virtue of their nationality:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEE) and Switzerland;
  • Nationals of countries listed on the common Schengen list (Annex 2 of (EC) Regulation 2018/1806 (pdf)) ;
  • Persons eligible for a visa waiver to enter the Schengen Area on the grounds of possession of a resident permit or long-stay visa;
  • Holders of a valid residence permit, issued by a Schengen Area state;
  • Holders of a valid residence permit, issued by a European Union state bearing the specification “Membre de famille” or “Résident de longue durée CE”;
  • Holders of a valid long-stay visa, issued by a Schengen Area state.

In specific cases, exemptions to these rules can be granted:

  • Example: Journalists on assignment from the United States continue to be subject to French visa requirements.
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How to read a Schengen visa sticker?

Please check here to read more.

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How do I choose a correct visa category?

Please visit "Coming to France for..." section of France Visas Portal for more information on the scopes of different purposes of travel.

  • Tourism/Private stay: click here;
  • Professional purpose: click here;
  • Studies, training: click here.
  • Family purposes: click here.
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    Where can I apply for a visa? Which country is responsible for processing my visa?

    You must submit your visa application to the French consulate (or Embassy) or with a certified service provider (differs from country to country) in the country where you legally reside. In the UK, you must submit your visa application to one of TLScontact Visa Application Centres based in London, Edinburgh or Manchester, except for a few limited categories which must be submitted directly at French Consulate in London.

    However, if you are in another country and you can explain why your application could not be submitted to the consulate in your legal place of residence (unexpected circumstances, etc.), your visa application may be accepted.

    The Member State authorised to process and rule on visa applications is the one whose territory constitutes the sole (or main) destination of your journey.

  • I plan to visit several Schengen countries during my trip: which countries can process my visa application?

    When visiting several countries, the competent Member State is the one whose territory constitutes the main destination of your journey in terms of duration. If the main destination can not be determined, the competent Member State is the one the applicant intends to enter first.

  • I plan to spend six days in France and fifteen in another Schengen area country. Should I submit my visa application to the French Consulate?

    In this case, the authorised Member State is the one whose territory constitutes the main destination of the journey in terms of duration.

  • I plan to travel to France but my flight will arrive in a different country. Where should I apply for my visa?

    You must apply for your visa at the French consulate as France constitutes the main destination of your journey in terms of duration even though you are entering the Schengen area via another Member State.

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    When should I apply for a visa?

    Short stay visa: You may only submit your visa application in 6 months (9 months for seamen) before your scheduled date of arrival in Schengen area/French Overseas(DROM-CTOM).

    Long stay visa: You may only submit your visa application in 3 months before your scheduled date of arrival in France.

    Please plan your visa application as far in advance as possible.

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    How do I apply for a visa?

    To apply for a visa, you should first register your visa application on France Visas portal, then register on TLScontact visa centre website to book an appointment and track your visa application process. For more details about the procedure, please click here.

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    Which visa category do I need to apply for?

    For a stay less than 90 days, click on short-stay visa for more information.

    For a stay more than 90 days, click on long-stay visa for more information.

    For airport transit, if your nationality requires this type of visa, click on airport transit visa for more information. You may use visa wizard of France Visas Portal to check if you need a visa.

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    What can I do if my visa is refused?

    As per French & European laws, negative decisions on visa applications must be notified.

    An applicant whose visa has been refused may lodge an appeal against the decision to refuse a visa to the Commission de Recours contre les Décisions de Refus de Visa, BP 83609 44036 Nantes CEDEX 1, within two months of being officially informed. This appeal must be motivated, signed and written in French. It must precede any further appeal to a Court.

    If no decision has been communicated to the applicant within 2 months of submission of the file, the case shall be deemed to have been dismissed and can be appealed before the Commission de Recours Contre les Décisions de Refus de Visa.


    Source of information: FAQ of France Visas Portal

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    Will the original documents I submitted during my visa application be returned by French Consulate?

    Only the original documents which must be stamped by the Consulate General of France in London will be sealed in an envelope together with applicant’s passport and be returned to TLScontact Visa Centre.

    The original documents that should be returned are generally as follows:

    • original attestation d’accueil (lodging certificate issued by a French town hall, click here to view sample);
    • original convention d’accueil (click here to view sample);
    • Other original documents requested by French consulate through consular instruction.

    If you have submitted an above-mentioned original document, please check, when you pick up your passport, if the original document has been duly returned and stamped by French Consulate. In case of any problem, please contact immediately visa centres or call centre.

    Important: Visa centres do not take or keep any original documents which are not required in a visa application.

    Depending on visa categories, original BRP, French acte de marriage (marriage certificate), birth certificate or diploma may be requested to be checked at counter, however visa centre will only keep the photocopies of these documents in a visa application to be transferred to French Consulate.

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    Will French consulate ask me to provide additional documents or information?

    Yes. While processing your visa application, French Consulate may request you to provide additional documents, information or attend an interview.

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    How can I collect my passport?

    Passports can be collected in TLScontact Visa Application Centres during the opening hours to the public.

    Once your passport is returned to the same visa centre where you have submitted your visa application, you will be notified online on your personal account page and via automated email.

    Please do not come to visa centre before passport is shown as ready for collection. A passport on its way back to centre doesn't mean that passport will be ready for collection on the same day, this is particularly the case for Edinburgh and Manchester centres where passports will still need to be transferred from London centre.

    How to collect my passport?

    1. Passport collection in Centre

    Please bring original and photocopies of the required documents.

    Collection in person with the following documents:

    • Your Application Checklist (obtained upon submission of your visa application at Visa center);
    • Your Original Photographic ID, original and copy;

    Collection by representative with the following documents:

    • Your Application Checklist (obtained upon submission of your visa application at Visa center);
    • Copy of Your Photographic ID;
    • ID card/passport of representative, original and copy;
    • Letter of authorization signed by you (clearly stating the representative’s details);

    To collect a passport of a minor applicant, the following additional document must be provided:

    • ID card/passport of legal guardian of minor applicant, copy;
    • Copy of family relationship proof between minor and legal guardian;
    • Letter of authorisation signed by legal guardian of minor applicant, original.

    2. Courier Return Service (currently suspended due to service level of service provider during COVID-19 period)

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    Can someone else submit a visa application on my behalf?

    Personal appearance is mandatory for all visa applicants, unless you are exempted from biometric enrolment.

    Exemptions:

    • Children up to 12 years of age. Biometric enrolment is not required.
    • Applicant has previous Schengen visa delivered within 59 months and with the remarks ”VIS” is mentioned.

    If you are exempted from biometric enrolment, a representative can submit a Schengen visa application on your behalf. The representative must provide a signed letter of authorization from yourself (or legal guardians of minor applicants). A representative cannot be a minor under 18 years old.

    If you hold a biometric Schengen visa issued within 59 months, you can:

    • Appear personally (without new biometric data collection);
    • Be represented by a third party who will need to provide on top of your completed application:
      • his/her personal ID (original and photocopy);
      • an authorisation letter from adult applicant or legal guardian of a minor applicant under 18 years old.

      Important: Due to VIS failure, French consulate may have special instruction for some applicants to complete a new biometric enrolment even if they have a previous Schengen visa issued within 59 months.

      Attention: This rule does not apply to long stay visa applicants and applicants visiting the DROM-CTOM. Applicants have to complete biometric enrolment step for any new long stay French visa and any new visa to visit the DROM-CTOM.

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      May I use an agency to submit my visa application?

      Personal appearance is mandatory for all visa applicants, unless you are exempted from biometric enrolment.

      List of accredited agencies authorised to submit visa applications in visa centre:

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      Which browsers does TLScontact support?

      TLScontact supports the latest versions of these browsers:

      • Chrome (Win 10 and Android for Mobile / Tablet);
      • Edge (Win 10);
      • Firefox (Win 7);
      • Safari (OS X and iOS for Mobile / Tablet).

      Make sure your browser is up to date and get into the habit of installing software updates whenever they are available.

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      Why isn’t Internet Explorer supported?

      Internet Explorer (IE) 11 was released in 2013, and no feature updates released by Microsoft in years, which puts this browser behind others in terms of its ability to support new technologies. While Microsoft will continue to provide support for users of IE 11 for a few more years, the new default browser is Microsoft Edge.

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      Passport

      Before applying for a visa you must make sure that your passport is valid.

      1. Check the expiration date on your passport.
        • For a short stay visa (less than 90 days), the expiration date must be no earlier than 3 months after the date of your return from the Schengen Area;
        • For a renewal of circulation visa, the expiration date must be 15 months after the day you apply for a visa;
        • For a regular long stay visa (more than 90 days), the expiration date must be 15 months after your planned return date back to the UK.
      2. Make sure your passport has two or more completely blank and unmarked visa pages.
      3. Make sure your passport has not been altered.
        • Check if the original laminated film (the transparent safety film that covers the passport photo) has been tampered with. If this is the case, you must ask a passport-issuing authority to re-tamper proof your passport;
        • Make sure no pages or surfaces have been laminated (as this will invalidate your passport);
        • Check for scratching or alteration.
      4. If your passport was issued over 10 years ago, even if it is still valid at the time you submit your visa application, you must apply for a new passport from the Chinese authorities or the Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin, before being able to apply for a visa.

      It is advised that you do not apply for a visa on a passport issued for multiple persons (e.g. parent and children together).

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      Visa application form

      You need to make an online registration on France Visas Portal in order to submit a visa application. The application form is downloadable after completion of online form filling.

      French visa centres in the UK cannot process a visa application without an application registered on France Visas Portal.

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      Photo

      The photograph required for any visa application must be:

      • Color photo on a white background;
      • Format 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm;
      • Taken from the front - without obstruction;
      • Recent (less than 6 months old);
      • With the mouth closed.

      For more information, please visit the link here.

      In the eventuality that you need to provide a recent compliant photograph to complete your application, a self-service photo booth is at your disposal inside the Visa Application Centre. For more information, please click here.

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      Travel medical insurance / health insurance


      Travel insurance for Short-stay Schengen visa (less than 90 days):

      Due to a regulation of the European Union (Decision 2004/17/CE of December 22nd 2003), there is a requirement to hold travel insurance, which is a compulsory document.

      The travel insurance should be:

      • Valid for Schengen area if you apply for short stay visa;
      • Your travel insurance must be valid with a minimum cover of EUR 30,000 in order to face any expenses that may arise in connection with your repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention or emergency hospital treatment. The travel insurance should fully cover the period of your stay in the Schengen area.

      Health insurance for Long-stay Visitor visa (more than 90 days): New rules updated on 14/05/2021

      1. Temporary Long Stay Visitor visa “VLS-T” (duration of stay 90-180 days/year)

      • UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are now accepted. Please provide a copy of your GHIC or valid EHIC.
      • If you don’t hold a UK-GHIC or valid EHIC, you will need to provide a private health insurance, which must cover full requested long stay visa, up to 6 months (VLS-T).

      2. Long Stay Visitor visa “VLS-TS” (duration of stay over 180 days/year)

      • Please provide a private health insurance which must cover the full requested long stay visa, up to 1 year.

      In case of retirement in France (applies for Retirees receiving a British retirement pension) :

      • Following new instructions on the issuance of Long Stay Visitor Visas, valid S1 Form is now accepted as evidence of medical coverage. Please provide a copy of your S1 Form.
      • If you don’t hold a S1 Form, you will need to provide a private Health insurance, which must cover full requested long stay visa, up to 1 year.
      Insurance NOT accepted : Schengen travel Insurance

      Download:

      Attention: French consular authority reserves the right to ask for any information or documents needed for processing a visa application. If this happens, the consular authority will send an email instruction directly to visa applicant.

      Difference between a Travel insurance and a Health insurance:

      The Schengen travel insurance covers treatment in the event of an emergency, whilst the requested private health insurance also provides cover for routine treatment and ongoing treatment for pre-exiting conditions.


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      Required documents for a visa

      Upon completion of online registration on France Visas Portal, you will be able to download your application form and France Visas Receipt including the list of documents corresponding to the travel purpose you have chosen.

      Before taking this step, you may use visa wizard of France Visas Portal to conduct a quick search of travel purpose and list of documents. Please be extremely careful when you choose personal status or travel document (spouse of French, family member of EU/EEE/Swiss citizen, or type of travel document etc), a wrong choice may lead to wrong travel purpose and wrong information on visa fees.

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      Attestation d’accueil

      Every foreigner should be in a position to produce to the Immigration Officer the following supporting documents:

      • Purpose of stay: invitation letter or entry card to an exhibition or conference for a professional stay, a registration certificate from a school for a study stay, documents from a travel agency when participating in a tour etc;
      • Lodging: hotel reservation (without booking document, the traveler must provide financial proof justifying a resource of 120 euros per day), «attestation d’accueil» if staying with a friend or relative;
      • Return: return or round trip ticket to the country of usual stay;
      • Means of living: for the stay in France and, if necessary, in other Schengen countries, not only for the duration of the proposed stay (120€ per day if not supported by the host, half if the host stated he/she will support you on the “attestation d’accueil”) but also for return to the origin country (return ticket) or transit to a third country (ticket and, if needed, visa) : cash, traveler’s checks, international valid credit card, official evidence of external financial support.

      Travellers who cannot provide these supporting documents can be refused entry into the Schengen area, even if they’re holding valid visas. They will have to go back to their starting point by the next available flight.

      For more information:

      1. European law;
      2. French law.

      The «Code de l’entrée des étrangers et du droit d’asile» includes the following articles pertaining to entry into France (The “Légifrance” website provides the full updated text):

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      Convention d’accueil

      The “Convention d’Accueil” (formerly known as “Protocole d’Accueil”) (specimen) is an official document obtained from the local police station of your host research institute in France and is similar to a working contract. This document is mandatory for scientists who wish to go to France for the purpose of scientific research. It allows the scientist to apply for a “scientist visa” and, if the stay is longer than 90 days, to obtain a residence permit which mentions “scientist”.

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      I have already submitted my biometric data when I last applied for a visa. Do I have to come in person and submit them again if I apply for a new visa?

      Biometric data already collected for a Schengen visa are valid for 59 months from the date the biometric data capture was done. If you have already provided your biometric data for a previous successful Schengen visa application with one Schengen country, then you do not need to come in person to submit them again if you apply for a new Schengen visa, even with a different Schengen country. You will only have to provide the visa sticker number and photocopy of the visa as a proof during the new visa application procedure. The VIS is a common database to all Schengen countries. After expiry of 59 months, you have to provide fingerprint scans again. You can view the list of Schengen countries here.

      This exemption does not apply to long stay visa applicants and applicants visiting the DROM-CTOM. Applicants have to go through the biometric data capture step for any new long stay visa application, even if they already submitted their fingerprints for a previous visa application.

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      I got a refusal for my last visa application and I had provided my biometric data during the application process. Do I have to come in person and submit them again if I apply for a new visa?

      Yes. If you got a refusal to a short or long stay visa application and your biometric data had been collected during the application process, you still have to come in person and submit your biometric data again for any new visa application.

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      In which cases can I be exempted of biometric data capture?

      There are 3 cases of exemption:

      • Children strictly under the age of 12;
      • Applicants who are physically unable to submit their fingerprints for scan. However, if it is possible to scan at least one fingertip, then applicants have to go through the biometric step. In the case of a temporary inability to provide the fingerprints (plaster, bandage, etc.), then the applicant will have to come in person to allow the fingerprints scan the next time they apply for a visa;
      • Applicants who are applying for a new Schengen visa and have already submitted their biometric data within the past 59 months during a past successful Schengen visa application. Applicants in this case will have to provide the visa sticker number and a photocopy of the previous visa. This exemption does not apply to long stay visa applicants and applicants visiting the DROM-CTOM, for whom any new visa application requires the biometric data capture.
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      Do children have to provide their biometric data?

      Minors aged strictly under 12 years old on the day of the application submission do not have to provide their biometric data and therefore do not have to appear in person. Minors aged between 12 and 18 have to come in person to the visa center and provide their biometric data on the day of the application (or following day for ADS applicants). They can choose to submit their application by a representative, and the letter of authorization must be signed by at least one parent or a legal guardian.

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      Can fingerprints from a previous national visa be copied into a Schengen visa?

      No, because the data belong to different databases. Fingerprints provided for a national visa application cannot be used for a Schengen visa application.

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      Schengen Area

      The Schengen Area is composed of 26 countries.

      • At present, 22 European Union Member States enforce the Schengen Convention (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.)
      • Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland integrally enforce the Schengen Convention, but are not members of the European Union.

      The five other European Union Member States still outside the Schengen Area are the Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia.

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      European Union

      The following is the list of countries that are currently members of the European Union:

      • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
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      DROM-CTOM

      France includes several territories that are outside the European continent, with varying legal statuses and levels of autonomy.

      • DROM, French overseas “Départements” and “Régions” are: Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte**, and Réunion;
      • CTOM, French overseas territories are: French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and its dependencies, Saint Martin*, Saint Barthélémy* and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.

      If you are going to a DROM or CTOM the visa fee may be different, please see the visa fees section.

      The requirements for a short stay in a DROM and CTOM are the same as for a Schengen visa. You may not apply more than 90 days prior to your departure.

      The Schengen visa does not grant entry to a DROM or a CTOM, unless mentioned otherwise on the visa sticker. If you are planning to go to a DROM or a CTOM, you must clearly state it at the time you apply.

      Requirements for a long stay in the DROM or CTOM are the same as for a long stay visitor visa. Please note that the processing time can take up to 6 months for CTOM.

      *Please note that Saint Martin, Saint Barthélémy are under the DROM visa regime, and the visa fee for those destinations is the equivalent of 60 Euros.

      **Since March 31st,2011, Mayotte has changed its status from CTOM to DROM. However, Mayotte is still under the visa regime of a CTOM.

      Cases of visa waiving to DROM and/or CTOM

      1. Holders of a multi-entries visa issued by a French consular authority valid for 6 months to 5 years are waived of a short stay DROM-CTOM visa, only if they are nationals of the following countries: South Africa, Bahrain, Belarus, China, Kuwait, India, Oman, Qatar, Russia and Ukraine(applicable to DROM.CTOM);
      2. Bearers of an official passport (diplomatic, service and/or special) for the following countries are exempt from requiring a DROM/CTOM visa: Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Thailand;
      3. Bearers of a biometric passport from the following countries are exempt from requiring a DROM/CTOM visa: Macedonia, Montenegro Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia (excluding bearers of Serbian passports delivered to “Kosovarians”);
      4. Bearers of a long stay visa from a Schengen country are exempt from requiring a DROM/CTOM visa;
      5. Citizens of Taiwan and Northern Mariana are exempt from requiring a DROM/CTOM visa;
      6. Holders of a valid Residence card (carte de sejour) or long stay visa delivered by France (national territory, DROM, Saint Pierre or Miquelon) are exempt from requiring a short stay DROM/CTOM visa;
      7. In case of paid activity, removal of the double procedure of working authorization and short stay visa for citizens of the following countries Australia, Brazil (while maintaining the short stay for Guyana), South Korea, USA, Japan, Mexico, Singapore and Venezuela The visa exemption applies if both conditions are met simultaneously.
        • A work authorization is requested by the regulation to carry out this activity;
        • The foreigner is able to show this authorization at the frontier.
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      Territory jurisdiction

      The Consulate General of France in London only processes the visa applications of applicants legally residing in the UK.

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      Short Stay Visa

      Short stay visa allows the traveler, assuming all other conditions are met, to enter the territories of any Schengen country to pay a single continuous visit or multiple visits, the duration of which does not exceed 90 days in any 180 days period. A short stay visa can be issued for either single entry or multiple entries into the Schengen zone.

      • Single entry visas allow the visa holder to enter and stay in the Schengen area continuously for the length of the visa duration, to a maximum of 90 days (e.g.: from July 1st to September 28th).
      • Multiple entry visas allow several entries and stays in the Schengen Area, of which the total duration cannot exceed 90 days in any 180 days period. The stay can be continuous or divided into several periods within the length of your visa’s validity. A Schengen circulation visa is a special type of multi-entry visa that is generally valid from 1 to 5 years, decided by the Embassy or Consulate General.
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      Long Stay Visa

      If you plan to stay in France for more than 90 days, you should apply for a long stay visa.

      Any stay longer than 90 days falls under national jurisdiction and is not part of the Schengen Agreement.

      Long Stay Visas are known as "Type D" visas and are divided in two categories: temporary long stay and regular long stay.

      • A temporary long stay is a stay longer than 90 days but shorter than 6 months;
      • A regular long stay is a stay longer than 6 months in France.

      There are different types of long stay visas:

      1. Study
        • Studying in a French university or in a language school;
        • Studying in Monaco;
        • Training at a company based in France;
        • Working as an "Au Pair" in France.
      2. Work
        • Working in France;
        • Working in Monaco;
        • Independent activity in France.
      3. Residency
        • Settling or retiring in France, Monaco, or Andorra;
        • You are the foreign spouse of a French or European Union citizen and wish to settle together in France.

      According to the law of July 24th, 2006, family members of French citizens must have a long stay visa in order to apply for a residence permit in France. This does not apply, however, to citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Algeria.

      Please note that if you stay longer than 6 months, you will have to apply for a residence permit ("Carte de Séjour") at the local Préfecture of your place of residence within 2 months of arrival in France.

      If you plan to work in France, your future employer in France must contact the OFII (ex-ANAEM) ("Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration").

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      Airport Transit Visa

      You remain in the airport’s international zone while waiting for the transfer flight to your final destination, and your final destination is located outside the Schengen area.

      Please click here to check if you must apply for an “A” airport transit visa (ATV).

      You may use visa wizard of France Visas Portal to check if you need a visa.

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      Circulation Visa

      A circulation visa is a short stay Schengen visa, allowing multiple entries to the Schengen area, valid from 1 to 5 years. The circulation visa grants the applicant a maximum stay of 90 days per period of any 180 days.

      Reminder: The circulation visa issued by France can only be renewed within 3 months before the expiration of the current circulation visa and within one year after it has expired.

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      DREETS

      DREETS (ex DIRECCTE ) are the initials for "les Directions régionales de l’économie, de l’emploi, du travail et des solidarités", which is responsible for work and professional training regulation and authorization.

      Click here for more information.

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      What are the documents to be presented upon your arrival in France?

      Please click on "Your arrival in France" section for more details.

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      What amount of resources must you justify?

      You must have an insurance certificate covering all medical and hospital expenses for which you may be liable for the duration of your stay in France, as well as medical repatriation costs and expenses in the event of death.

      If you are staying in a hotel, you will need to provide a hotel booking as well as a minimum amount per day of stay that differs depending on the Schengen country visited.

      For France, this amount is:

      • 65 euros per day of stay in the case of presentation of a hotel booking;
      • 120 euros per day in the case of non-presentation of a hotel booking;
      • In the case of a partial hotel booking: 65 euros per day for the period covered by the booking and 120 euros per day for the remainder of the stay.

      If you are hosted by an individual, you must provide a certificate of staying with a relative validated in the town hall at the request of the person who invited you (note: at the border crossing you must also prove that you have, in addition to this certificate, a minimum amount per day of stay - this minimum amount is €32.50 per day).

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      In which cases are you exempted from presenting supporting documents at the border?

      Please click here for more information (section 3).

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      What you need to do in France

      Please click on "Your arrival in France" section of France Visas Portal for more information relating to the following situations.

      • Long-stay visa with the obligation to apply for a residence permit;
      • Long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS).
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  • Questions on
    COVID-19 measures

    FAQ: COVID-19

    Passport validity

    Before applying for a visa you must make sure that your passport is valid:

    • Check the expiration date on your passport: For a short stay visa (less than 90 days), the expiration date must be no earlier than 3 months after the date of your return from the Schengen area; For a regular long stay visa (more than 90 days), the expiration date must be 15 months after the day you plan to leave the your country of origin.
    • Make sure your passport has two or more completely blank and unmarked visa pages;
    • Make sure your passport has not been altered: Check if the original laminated film (the transparent safety film that covers the passport photo) has been tampered with. If this is the case, you must ask a passport-issuing authority to re-tamper proof your passport; Make sure no pages or surfaces have been laminated (as this will invalidate your passport); Check for scratching or alteration.
    • If your passport was issued over 10 years ago, even if it is still valid at the time you submit your visa application, you must apply for a new passport from domestic authorities or the Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin, before being able to apply for a visa.
    • Make sure that the passport has been signed by the holder before applying for the visa.

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    Where can I apply for a visa?

    Visa applications for France are now received by TLScontact, except for some categories that are still received by the Consulate General of France in London directly. 

    • If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy or Consulate of this country.
    • If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which you will stay the longest.
    • If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination (i.e. the duration of your stay is the same in different countries), you should apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country that is your first point of entry.
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    When should I apply for a visa?

    You may only submit your visa application within 90 days before your date of departure. We recommend that you apply at least 20 calendar days before the first available appointment at our center because the visa process takes minimum 15 days.

    Your passport must be valid for at least 90 days from the date of your return from the Schengen area if you apply for a short visa and at least 15 months from the date of travel to the Schengen area if you apply for a long visa

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    How do I apply for a visa?

    To apply for a visa, you should find more details on our procedure page.

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    Do I need to enroll my biometric information in the Visa Application Centre?

    In general, everyone is required to enroll biometric information (10 fingerprint and digital photo); only applicants who are within the following categories will be exempted:

    • Children under the age of 12.
    • Applicants who are physically unable to submit their fingerprints for scan (hand/finger/arm amputated). However, if it is possible to scan at least one fingertip, then applicants have to go through the biometric step. In the case of a temporary inability to provide the fingerprints (plaster, bandage, etc.), the applicant still has to come in person and have the most possible fingerprints scanned. As only a part of the fingerprints has been collected, the applicant will have to come in person to allow the fingerprints scan again the next time applying for a visa.
    • Applicants who have had a previous Schengen visa delivered within the past 59 months.

    Applicants need to provide a photocopy of this visa sticker as a proof. However, the local consular authority may request you to submit the biometric data again.

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    How to book an appointment on TLScontact website?

    You can find more detail information on how to take an appointment on TLScontact website here.

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    Visa application form

    Visa application forms can be found on France-Visas website.

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    Could the Embassy request me to provide additional documents or information?

    The Embassy may request you to provide additional documents or information, according to your personal situation, even after you have submitted your application at TLScontact centre. Please note that any additional document, which is not required in the basic list according to your type of visa, must also be accompanied with a certified translation into either English or French if it is in any other language.

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    What are the visa photo requirements?

    The two photographs required for any visa application must be:

    • Color photo on a white background;
    • Format 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm;
    • Taken from the front - without obstruction;
    • Recent (less than 3 months old).

    For more information, please visit the link here

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    How can I collect my passport?

    Please check passport collection opening hours on Address page.

    Collection in person

    When your passport is ready to be collected, you will be notified online on your personal account page and by SMS notification (if you have requested this service), informing you to come to the TLScontact center with:

    • Your application checklist;
    • Your original photographic ID;
    • Copy of your photographic ID.

    Collection by representative

    Representative may retrieve your passport on your behalf with the documents listed below:

    • Your application checklist;
    • Your original photographic ID;
    • Copy of your photographic ID;
    • An authorization letter signed by the applicant.

    Return by courier

    TLScontact offers an Express Courier Return service, allowing you to receive your passport directly at your home or your office. To obtain this service please add it to your cart on the Added Value Services page available when you log into your personal account on our webpage.

    If you choose to cancel this service after your application has been submitted, Express Courier Return fee cannot be refunded.

    Recipient address and information for this service must be filled in by the applicant or representative during application submission appointment. Once the application has been submitted, no changes can be made to the recipient address and information. We therefore kindly ask you to confirm recipient address and information before the application submission.

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    Which browsers does TLScontact support?

    TLScontact supports the latest versions of these browsers:

    • Chrome (Win 10 and Android for Mobile / Tablet);
    • Edge (Win 10);
    • Firefox (Win 7);
    • Safari (OS X and iOS for Mobile / Tablet).

    Make sure your browser is up to date and get into the habit of installing software updates whenever they are available.

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    Why isn’t Internet Explorer supported?

    Internet Explorer (IE) 11 was released in 2013, and no feature updates released by Microsoft in years, which puts this browser behind others in terms of its ability to support new technologies. While Microsoft will continue to provide support for users of IE 11 for a few more years, the new default browser is Microsoft Edge.

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    Why has my visa application been rejected?

    Below is a list of typical reasons why your visa application might be rejected by our centre / the French Consular Authorities:

    • Passport issue: e.g. no passport provided, damaged passport, insufficient passport validity;
    • Application form not correctly signed;
    • France is not the main destination for your trip;
    • Wrong visa type chosen, not matching real travel purpose;
    • Visa photo not meeting requirements;
    • Key documents not provided for certain categories that would support the choice of a particular visa category;
    • Examples:
      • Spouse of French national: no copy of recent Acte de Marriage (less than 6 months);
      • Student/professional internship: no internship agreement or agreement not validated by French authorities;
      • Scientist: no convention d’accueil, etc.
    • Application not meeting other temporary requirements related to travel restriction rules currently in place.
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